FAQs

1. I plan to marry my Australian fiance in Australia. Can I travel to Australia on a visitor visa to do this?

2. I have not been living with my Australian partner for 12 months.  Does this mean I cannot apply for a partner visa?

3. Waiting times for the granting of partner visas are typically more than 12 months. Can I travel to Australia on a visitor visa and apply onshore, as I understand this will allow me to remain in Australia while my visa application is being processed.

4. Who is an eligible New Zealand citizen?

5. I have a provisional partner visa, but my relationship with my Australian partner has ended.  What should I do?

6. Will the time taken to process my partner visa application affect the date on which I become eligible for a permanent residency visa?

7. I understand that in certain circumstances partners will be granted permanent residency straightaway, rather than waiting 2 years from the time of application.  Is this right?

8. After my visa is granted, do I have to travel to Australia by a certain date?


Q. I plan to marry my Australian fiance in Australia. Can I travel to Australia on a visitor visa to do this? 

 Q. I have not been living with my Australian partner for 12 months.  Does this mean I cannot apply for a partner visa?

  • Not necessarily.  If your reasons for being apart are compelling you may still be granted a partner visa.  For example, if you have a child with your Australian partner this would usually be considered a compelling reason, particularly if the child is also an Australian citizen.
  • The registration of your relationship with an Australian State or Territory Government can also overcome the need for 12 months of co-habitation.  However, the requirements in each State and Territory should be checked, as some will require 12 months of living together before they will register the relationship.  Contact us to discuss this issue more fully.

Q. Waiting times for the granting of partner visas are typically more than 12 months.  Can I travel to Australia on a visitor visa and apply onshore, as I understand this will allow me to remain in Australia while my visa application is being processed.

  • The purpose of a visitor visa is to allow the visa holder to holiday in Australia and to visit friends and family.  However, we know that many partners of Australian citizens and Australian permanent residents do travel to Australia with the intention of applying onshore for a partner visa.  In such circumstances a Bridging Visa will come into effect when the visitor visa expires – and usually work rights will not be restricted to the holder of the Bridging Visa.
  • Note also that if a condition 8503 is placed on your visitor visa you will not be able apply for a partner visa while you are in Australia.

Q. Who is an eligible New Zealand citizen?

  • An eligible New Zealand citizen is a New Zealand citizen who was living in Australia on the 26th of February, 2001 – or for at least one year in the two years immediately before that date.
  • An eligible New Zealand citizen can sponsor family members for an Australian visa, including a Partner visa.  New Zealand citizens who are not “eligible” New Zealand citizens can sponsor family members for long term temporary residency in Australia under subclass 461, which is the New Zealand Citizen Family Relationship visa http://www.gm-partner-visas.com/index.php/family-visas/new-zealand-citizen-family-relationship-visa-subclass-461/

Q. I have a provisional partner visa, but my relationship with my Australian partner has ended.  What should I do?

  • As a rule, take professional advice quickly, as you are at risk of being required to leave Australia.

You may be able to apply for a permanent visa if your relationship ended because:

  • You, or a member of your family, was a victim of family violence
  • Your spouse or de facto partner has died.

Q. Will the time taken to process my partner visa application affect the date on which I become eligible for a permanent residency visa?

  • The date on which you become eligible for permanent residency status is based on when your partner visa application was lodged, not when your visa was granted.
  • In other words, your eligibility to be assessed for the permanent partner visa is not affected by the time that it takes to process the temporary stage of your visa application.

Q. I understand that in certain circumstances partners will be granted permanent residency straightaway, rather than waiting 2 years from the time of application.  Is this right?

  • Yes, a permanent residency visa can be granted to Partner visa applicants without the need to wait while holding a provisional Partner visa.  This usually arises when there is a child of the spouse or de facto relationship and that relationship has existed for at least two years.

Q. After my visa is granted, do I have to travel to Australia by a certain date?

  • Yes. When your visa has been granted, you will be advised of your required initial entry date: it is a condition of your visa that you must enter Australia before that date.  This need not be a permanent move to Australia – you can enter Australia for a holiday, and make the permanent move to Australia at a later date, subject to the expiry date of your visa.
  • The required initial entry date is based on the expiry date of your health and character checks, which are generally valid for 12 months from the date they were issued.
  • If you fail to enter Australia by the required initial entry date your visa may be considered for cancellation, unless you have compelling reasons for not meeting this condition.